Saturday, March 08, 2008

Saturday 8th

Breezy! Had to fill up the nuts at the feeding station. Only caught 11 birds - "a" squirrel was about. Ugh! Ten or more Goldfinches in/over the rough. Tits busy inspecting boxes and holding territory. One female Great Tit had a well developed brood patch; she was an "old bird", too!
So far this year, I have caught 27 new Great Tits and re-trapped just 14. The majority of these have been "adults" (i.e. 3CY or older). It is a phenomena that we tend to catch or retrap the vast majority of our Gt. Tits at this time of year, especially if we put nuts up. Nice one - caught a pair of Bullfinches, both 2CY, and she also had a well developed brood patch.

David B. will fill in the rest of the day:

It was another very quiet morning. As I cut across the fields to Fingers there were a number of Blackbirds and Thrushes on the meadows including a couple of Redwing which flew to the hedges at the back of the visitor centre. At Fingers I disturbed a pair of Gadwall which were in the section by the Sedgewick seat. At Kramer hide the only action of note was the pair of Little Grebe which mated at least twice before a Canada Goose crashed their party. That CG was one of the "gang of six". Another Little Grebe, in winter plumage, was also about. Only other birds were Mallards, Moorhen and the pair of Mute Swans. One pair of Mallards were prospecting the large central reedbed for a nest site. The Green Woodpecker was hammering on the nest box for short time again and a Pheasant passed along the spit.

The female Sparrowhawk was evident for most of the morning putting on a fine display of climbs and dives over the Long Hedge at one point. She flushed half a dozen Redwing which headed off towards Kingsmead. On Kingsmead there were 12 CG's, 9 Moorhen and a couple of Pheasants.

Plenty of Goldfinch all round the park, or the same group following us round! No sign of any Frogs in Fingers although a couple of balls of spawn was evidence of their activity last week. West Fingers held a couple of pairs of Canada Geese, a Pair of Little Grebe, the pair of Great Crested Grebes and a few Moorhen. Only a couple of Mallard on east Fingers. It is now possible to walk around the crescent without getting wet feet, and we were treated to the site of a Water Rail which flew from the path to the centre of the reed bed.

The main lake was also very quiet with just 2 Pochard, 3 GCG, 13 Cormorant and a couple of Mute Swans. Some Kingfishers were making a lot of noise along the leat. There were at least half a dozen Teal on Fenlake.

Little else of note, we did stay dry though which was unexpected!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wednesday 5th

Quick mid-morning shuffle. 20 Pochard visible from main path. Shoveler, Tufted & Little Grebe visible from Kramer. Checked the box where the Green W/pecker was hammering; still intact - with a dirty mark all around the opening! Great Tit singing close to another box. Pair of Blue Tits visiting a new box. Things are getting going. One of yesterdays tits had the decent beginnings of a brood patch. [Off to catch some more Siskins]

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday 4th

Early start. Forecast not good. Put net up by feeders. The ringed female GSW was a "casualty"; released her and she was back round the other side on a feeder before 10 minutes was up. 2 new Chaffinches (fem) & 5 new Great Tits (just the one male). 3 birds from October '05 and the pullus from '03 once more. Packed up 09:30.
Watched a well marked male Lesser Redpoll on some dessicated willow-herb by the V/centre for a long while - until the school kids came out for their "walk". 16 Cormorant, 80 B/H Gulls & 1 Lesser BBG on the sailing club. 10 Pochard visible. A bit early for the Common Gulls.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday 2nd March

Another blustery day, although a little calmer than yesterday. Headed to Kramer hide and disturbed a Heron and a couple of Moorhen down by the Sedgewick seat. There was also a male Shoveler tucked round the back. A Green Woodpecker called from the big Willows, more about him later!

At the hide another quiet morning with little of note, just the usual suspects. A third Little Grebe joined the usual pair, this one still in winter plumage with no red on the head. An Oyster Catcher was heard calling as it flew up the navigation channel.

At around 9am the hammering, same as was heard yesterday, started again. This time I was determined to track it down. I walked the fence line of the area at the end of the Finger lakes. The sound was very close when I got back round to the entrance that leads up to the Sedgewick seat. Looking into the fenced off area I noticed some movement and with the bins was able to identify the culprit, not a GSW as stated yesterday, but a/the Green Woodpecker hammering on the front of the nest box in that section. Hope the metal plate holds out!

I continued my walk along the Long Hedge to the Kissing gate then back along the navigation channel. A Green Woodpecker called fromsomewhere along the Cut. On Kingsmead there were 27 Canada Geese and 5 Moorhen. At the rough there was a GSW on the nut feeder, couldn't see if it had a ring. A couple of male Bullfinch flew across the path into the rough as I walked to the steps. At the steps frogs were spawning in the flood water, which might be a problem if the water level goes back down.

On west Fingers there were 3 pairs of Canada Geese, Pair Mute Swans, pair of Coots and three Little Grebe. On east Fingers there was just the pair of Great Crested Grebes. The female Sparrowhawk flew over the Spit.

On the main lake from the main path there were c.23 Pochard, 16 Cormorant and just 9 Mute Swans.

A note from yesterday, a single Lapwing was seen over the Long Hedge, heading into the park.


"Ladies' Day" [Feb 29th] Startled by an early morning 'phone call.
Tried unsuccessfully for Kingfisher in the middle section. It/they refused to take the normal route and disappeared up the "south side" instead. I prefer to think thay were blown off course by the stiff winds!
33 Pochard, 29 Common Gull, Mistle Thrush, 12 Sparrows.
There's a report of a Reed Warbler for w/e 24 Feb. on the VC listing - any offers?
Sunday 2nd - had an early morning woosh net meeting at the new county recorder's garden; that's the way to do it - 14 Brambling, the whole lot in one go!

... and one flew in, "buzzed", and flew straight back up to the top of the willows as I walked away from filling the feeders this afternoon!